The Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan are some of the most rugged and beautiful on Earth, soaring upward where the Himalayas, the Tien Shan, and the Hindu Kush all meet. MIR Corporation is offering an adventurous 18-day journey over the Pamir Highway, a breathtaking route in use since the time of the Silk Road. Guests will travel up and over the sheer passes of the majestic Tien Shan and Pamir Mountains on this overland trip through the remote ravines and secluded villages of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Western China. The tour is slated for July 16 – August 2, 2018, and starts at $7,795. For more information, visit http://www.mircorp.com/trip/the-pamir-highway-across-fabled-frontiers/ or call 800-424-7289.
Days 1-3: Bishkek, Tokmok and Kochkor villages, Naryn
Explore Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, enjoying a performance of the Kyrgyz tale, the Epic of Manas, inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. In Tokmok village, attend traditional Kyrgyz horse games, and visit a handicraft cooperative in Kochkor. Continue to Naryn, set between red cliffs and green hills at 6,000 feet.
Days 4-7: Tash Rabat, Torugart Pass, Kashgar
Follow the Old Silk Road, overnighting in yurts near Tash Rabat, a15th century caravanserai. Cross the 12,000-foot Torugart Pass on the Kyrgyzstan-China border, the most spectacular route into or out of Central Asia. Spend a morning at Kashgar’s lively animal market and enjoy a traditional Uighur folk performance.
Days 8-10: Irkeshtam Pass, Sary Tash, Murgab
Set out on the stunning drive over Irkeshtam Pass back into Kyrgyzstan. Pick up the Pamir Highway near the little town of Sary Tash. The road climbs over 14,000-foot Kyzyl-Art Pass into Tajikistan, across the Pamir Plateau, up dramatic Ak-Baital Pass, at almost 15,200 feet, and down to Murgab. Enjoy striking views of the surrounding mountains, and picnic at Lake Karakul.
Days 11-13: Langar, Yamchan, Ishkashim, Horog
Stop in little mountain towns and converse with local people as they go about their daily lives. In Horog, the capital of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, visit the Regional History Museum and a handicraft center.
Days 14-18: Kalaikhumb, Dushanbe
Drive along the Panj River, which forms the natural border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan, overnighting in the village of Kalaikhumb. Continue to Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan. Explore nearby Hissar, dominated by the 18th century Ibrahim Bek Fortress.